Friday, January 30, 2004

i rearranged my desk so that my computer sits directly in front of me. my back feels better already :)

Thursday, January 29, 2004

tonight, as i was walking home from the meridian room, i saw a man in a dumpster.
he was digging through the trash, and dropping things in a gap bag standing on the ground below.
super size me

In order to make a point about the deteriorating American diet and resulting obesity epidemic, Spurlock vowed to eat nothing but food offered at McDonald's for 30 days.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

listening to the cd i got in the mail from bran today.
i also received a cd of images that eases the blow of the lost scrapbook. below you'll find pictures from my sr year.

the night before the night before bran moved away post-grad.

i just read a short, but interesting interview with kucinich on beliefnet
there's a new veggie restaurant opening up soon. can't wait to try it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

What a great morning. I just got a call from a man with Comcast Corporate, who apologized profusely that my problem account wasn't solved months ago. They took care of all the excess charges and assured me that I took no hit on my credit.

I also feel 100% better than I did at this time yesterday. I appear to be conquering the cold that has plagued me the past few days.

I need to plan my visit to the vegan hotness. Hey Bran! I need dates when you're available!!
listening to Pat Robertson on the Diane Rehm show....
Guess which editor was quoted in Publisher's Weekly this week?

Monday, January 26, 2004

after visiting three stores and searching for hours online, my ethical purchasing endeavor is finished. behold: acceptable vegan tennis shoes

(they arrive some time next week)

Sunday, January 25, 2004

more birthday weekend(s) pictures to come... for now, baby goats!!

Friday, January 23, 2004

leah and i just headed downstairs
i am now drinking caffeinated sugar water. this is the first coke i've purchased in a long time.

it's 5am
i just dreamt that dallas was under attack
huge angry rocks of fire -- missiles? bombs? -- came crashing down
i watched the explosions out of my window, terrified and panicked.
one smashed into the tower at fair park, and split off into pieces. jumping red sparks wound their way through the air and towards my loft; i clutched beringer tightly and thought
before everything exploded into hot white light

and so here i am,
writing this to you after extracting my sweaty body from the twist of red sheets

usually when i have a scary dream i grab the cats and hide under the covers for a while, but i was too unsettled for their calm to affect me.

i made some hot tea, and i'm going to sit here and sip it while i approach a semblance of peace

so i can return to bed and rest


i had dreams similar to this when the war first started
i watched reporters breathlessly speak with excitement and vigor, like the "shock and awe" light show behind them was some fourth of july extravaganza

my mind was always on the on the people who inhabited that backdrop: scared or defiant, crouched behind boarded windows with their families

that "shock and awe" shit is so brutal and dehumanizing. we lob bombs their way from afar while our well-groomed press jumps up and down making empty exclamations.

we didn't watch the war on tv -- we watched a light show

i want to hear about those who lost famliy when we bombed a crowded baghdad restaurant we thought saddam was in. how about the eleven civilians recently killed during a US raid in Afghanistan? did we apologize? what really happened?


9/11 freaked the holy living shit out of everyone
"ooh, the world has changed; everything is different now"

people all over the world deal with this kind of fear daily. it's not one-time-event-fear that you can assuage with flag-waving and candlelight vigils.

a lot of people don't get level orange alerts. they spend their lives in the red.

if "everything" has changed since that day it is because we have changed it, in the way we chose to tell the story of what it is to be american

our country pissed away the sympathy and support of other nations;
our gung-ho actions on the world stage have set into motion long-term consequences that we can not even begin to predict or imagine.


i'm sick of listening to politicians. of freedom fries and caucuses.

you want my attention? talk to me seriously. let me know that you sense the pain in the world,

that you realize we
(we humans)
are pissing away this gift of life ---

this isn't some kind of game. war means death, and isn't to be entered into lightly.

Thursday, January 22, 2004


Saturday, January 24
7p.m. at the Meridian Room

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

who invented tape? what is it made out of?

scotch? masks? ducts?

Monday, January 19, 2004

damn audioblogger automatically posted everything for me last night.

i was trying to share the message mom left me after hearing kausar's outgoing mssg in arabic on my cell....

Sunday, January 18, 2004

for those of you who pray:

add my friend k. to your list. her high school sweetheart recently committed suicide.
today i gave a homeless man a baggie of change and a provolone panini from whole foods.


it's cold.

kristen and i went to bend studio for a free yoga class. while there we ran into daniel jacob (my college buddy who tried to suck us all into an amway-like endeavor) and the head of the smu english dept.

then judah, kristen and i headed over to starpoop where my friend gigi works. over tea we discussed the intricacies of group dynamics and the possibility of home ownership while judah chewed on my satchel.

after we returned i wanted to cook up some lunch, but all i have here are potatoes. so i went to whole foods to pick up some stuff. i went ahead and ate while i was out, intending on reading some caputo -- but an article in the dallas observer caught my eye.

the problem with reading the observer on sunday is that it lists events that you've just missed. i would have loved to go to Hal Samples' "hero to zero" art show this friday. samples takes pictures of homeless people in our city and then sells the images -- the proceeds directly benefit these people.

the interesting thing is that up until a couple years ago, samples himself was homeless.

after eating and reading, i walked to my car. a 46-year-old homeless man stopped me and engaged me in halting conversation (he had a pronounced stutter, and it took him a long time to speak sentences i could understand.) i'm not sure of half of what this guy said, but at one point he took his social security card from a thin worn (and empty) wallet and pointed at it -- "that's me." he also told me his theory on osama's whereabouts. "see, osama is like hitler. hitler went underground, in a ... a.. (shan says "a bunker?")... yeah, a bunker. that's where osama is. but deeper in the ground."

i usually keep a buck or two in my car to give when i'm stuck at lights on central expressway's service roads, but i think i spent it on taco hell last week. but i did have a baggie of change that i wanted to put in the coinstar at kroger (the machine is down). i handed this man the change and dug the sandwich out of my grocery bags.

he looked cold and bewildered and wanted to keep talking to me, and i think he was maybe asking for a ride to 7-11 but i couldn't tell and i was cold so he told me "god bless!" and i got into my hybrid and drove towards the warmth of home, leaving him and his wild brown eyes alone on a sidewalk, the sandwich and money doing nothing to stave off the cold and loneliness.

that's what i thought about most as i drove through fair park, as i pulled into my lucky spot 42 in the garage and walked up the stairs, the jingle of keys dropped on the counter and feline greetings --- he told me that he's lonely.

and what did i do? i offered him money. "you want some change?"

but what should i have done? suggested that he join the guys who live beneath the bridge near my house? drove him to haskell avenue and introduced him to the guy who lives beneath the train tracks?

i think i hurt his feelings because when he tried to kiss me goodbye i went for the quick sideways awkward hug.


i'm going to take a long soak in the bath, maybe brew some tea. work on final edits on this manuscript. pause now and then to contrast the gentle warmth of the afternoon's solitude with the harsh cold loneliness that surely charactizes his day.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Long John Silvers promises each American one giant shrimp (a half foot long?) if an ocean is discovered on Mars.
via trillian42


i've always hated shrimp, even before the vegetarian days. (btw, about to celebrate three years flesh-free!)
i could never do the crawfish thing, or eat crabs, etc. either (my louisiana-born family always thought me strange as they sucked the brains out of mudbug heads)

jacob had a shrimp in his fish tank at home. i remember watching it in all its translucent glory, floating past little castles and fake plants and i wondered, "how could anybody want to eat this?" i think one of the angelfish (they're aggressive little buggers) got hungry, because one day mr shrimpy was gone. this all reminds me of that simpson's episode with mr. pinchy....

and i'm reminded of the best goldfish who ever lived (sparky) and the fish tank we had in the buehring-mcgee-caughey household. we'd pull up chairs and watch that thing like it was television, the fish pairing off acc'd to species, the eels curled up beneath a rock (except for that black-blue one who just wiggled around upside-down all the time, and the fish who looked like a samurai (the "dead guy") and we never saw him move at all. he just hung out at the bottom of the tank.)

we watched the fish and a lot of dolemite that summer.

Friday, January 16, 2004

tuesday movie night and kitties:

rain rain rain and thunderstorms in the forecast! today i would like to be sitting in my car at white rock lake, meditating as uneven drops drizzle the gray surface of the lake.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

thanks to kaus for pulling the images off my camera for me!
new year's eve at the squires and adairs bar:

(i hate the sorority-girl smile i've got in the picture with my sister -- i felt a little defensive in that social space, her friends a tad bewildered at the veggie hipster sister. i retreated into the social happy smiling nodding sweet agreeable me -- i went home when my cheeks got tired)

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

an evil woman on the elevator this morning said "i'm so glad it's not foggy in dallas more often!"

did she expect me to agree with her?

i want to live somewhere with more rain, more fog.
remember me admonishing you to savor the year's first morning?

here's the sight that accompanied the fresh morning smell:
dan and daniel doing celtic body prayer in the uK:

(thanks to daniel for the link to small ritual)

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

last night rufus covered hallellujah on the awards.
i missed it.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

alright -- sometimes i make myself so freaking mad

i brought my scrapbook to work over the holiday, and had left it on the floor by the edge of my desk.
near the trash can.

it's gone.

Friday, January 09, 2004

i grew up in a log house in the woods
my uncle designed and built it, often using the venus high school football team as labor

(he told me that recently one of those guys tracked him down -- he still had the hammer my uncle had given him while working on that house. he told my uncle that it was a life-changing event. it's a really striking show of the influence of a kickass hippie mentor w/ carpentry skills.)

(my mom often complains that he pissed our money away
"he bought the entire venus high school football team hammers!")

we moved into the house while it was still unfinished. we were running out of money and my uncle bailed on us for issues relating to my father's alcoholism.

perhaps i'm an over-communicator because of things like this: uncle m left because he thought mom blamed him for dad's drinking. mom thought uncle m didn't even know -- we were so good at hiding it, right? she was upset about $$ and hammers!


i'm really not trying to depress you here. it's just how i came to live in a house without doorknobs, with live electrical outlets that weren't fully installed, with trim and borders still their naked wood color, with a dash of paint in the corner to indicate their destined color.

and brown water. (our well was highly rich in iron deposits.)

but somehow we were able to mask most of the problems when we had guests, to hide the big hole in the wall with the electrical wires poking out. to explain away the "telephone booth" underneath the stairway that no one used.

(as a child striving for normalcy, i remember dragging my sister's phone (remember those clear see-through phones where you could see the inside parts all in neon brightness?) down there, plugging it into the jack that didn't work.)

the house was a grand big metaphor for our family shit. you live with it every day, but do a good job of hiding it from outsiders. (until shnn goes up to childrens' church altar call and confesses that dad drinks to the gossipy "prayer warrior" and then the whole church knows and you know mom is unhappy with you for airing your dirty wash.)

there's so much more here -- trips to the laundrymat even though we had a working washer, my highlighted hair turning orange-brown, the scorpions, brown recluse spiders inside and snakes in the overgrown backyard. screaming crying fights at the top of the stairway, in the "den" (which really functioned as a laundry room), begging dad to quit drinking. the strawberry patch out back.

what i meant to say, is that... well, you can see how this place figures prominently in my dreams, right?

usually in my dreams things just take place there, though occasionally i dream that i have to move back in. my concern is that i can't bring myself to take a bath in brown water one more time.

last night i had one that happened to occur in that space. it featured, among other things, jacob's mom and my buddy blake. we were riding our bmx bikes with the pedal brakes along the trails, looking for my lost cat. we hit all the fun places -- the creek, the tractors (there was a "dirt processing" plant nearby -- we left our bikes and shoes and socks to clamber up the two-story high piles of softest dirt. we ran across the top and took flying leaps, only to sink into the side half-way down), the bridge, the smallish cliff, etc. we returned to my house and there was nothing to drink -- we were out of bottled water, oj, anything. i cracked our last full ice tray and placed the cubes in three tall glasses. we sat, miserable, waiting for them to melt.

do you know how seldom i dream things that actually happened? this bike adventure really took place on summer day (though with neighborhood children)

i woke up early this morning to see i'd missed a call last night. i didn't recognize the number. in my confused morning haze i fully expected the call to be from my dad (the area code had a four and a nine in it) in some coincidence-ness.

but, uh, it was a message from blake. just saying hi, how the hell are you?

and so

these things are only loosely connected. they're mere details, little strains in the complex weave of stories that make up the person many of you know as shnn.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Report says Iraq didn't have WMD

"We found nothing," Cirincione said. "There are no large stockpiles of weapons. There hasn't actually been a find of a single weapon, a single weapons agent, nothing like the programs that the administration believe existed."

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

taking the red pill made amazon's 2003 top ten pop culture titles!

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

david had some great thoughts on storytelling

dude, you missed some great ones last night -- hot stupid hipsters, vegan bosses, little sisters in bunny ears, ninth grade silverware purchases, depressed ecstasy consumers, nutmeg abusers, socratic discussion facilitators, drunken backflips with meat, etc.

i had a great time hanging out with friends, laughing and engaging in the business of telling stories as the tea and wine loosed our tongues

it's been a while since i've spun a good anecdote on sdt. it's about time. i'm feeling myself again.

i had a rough go of things in the recent past. staggering depression and the like. it is so incredibly good to feel better.

next monday you are all welcome to the loft to discuss caputo, or whatever hits our hearts at the moment. i'll provide the wine if you'll just bring stories.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

about to take a bath before sleep comes

tonight during my post-meridian shiner at the bar of soap i encountered both a hot hipster who was impressed by my vocabulary and vocation (i had to lay it on thick after he asked me what my story was) and a woman who just started working for the observer
then the wonderful babies came.

that's the best sentence that was edited out of the manuscript i've been working on. that said,

i'm done editing!

i feel like the holidays are finally over -- and i survived! i know that sounds like a big fat cliche, but this last round of xmas family work etc was taxing in unprecedented ways.

i'm off to celebrate with a veggie burger. maybe i'll even watch an episode of buffy before retiring for the night.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

open a window
smell the morning
greet the new year~!
can't sleep. too bad i didn't buy those greens yesterday; i could be cooking them this morning (i'm going to papa and granny's later on today and i can't eat their black-eyed-peas and greens for the over-abundant ham-hock)

i'm willing to bet that nokia's help line isn't up this morning, given that it's a holiday. my bluetooth connection is acting crazy, so i can't yet share the images of yestereve.

i got to hang out with my kids last night before heading over to adairs with my sister and some of her friends. i made it home in just in time to ring in the new year in solitude.

blah blah blah, i did this, etc etc

what is shnn thinking this morning at 6:45am? why is she up typing? i guess i'm doing what a lot of folks have done in the past few hours: considering the past year. no worries, i'm not going to make resolutions or anything. it's just a nice opportunity to sit back and wow at where i was a year ago -- spatially and emotionally.
review the changes that have occurred within this measure of time we (western) humans have concocted.

why am i reluctant to do this, so afraid to inhabit moments of cliche? what's with this drive to eschew tradition? it's okay, sh-n. you're human.


some thankyous are in order.

thank you, thou for whom our friendship is in and of itself a living thing, something that changes as we change each other. for the new words, the ever-shifting final vocabularies, the love and compassion and constant reminder of the trace and differance, the post-camel-post-lion childhood (thank you d-n and bran)

thank you rorty (and most recently caputo)

thank you joshua and kristen, for fostering community (the Kingdom!)

thank you damien rice, over the rhine, leonard cohen,

thank you polyphonic spree for the beach music.

and bell, for your compassionate activism, intelligent discourse... where the hell are you man?


and resolutions. yay new year.

it doesn't take the turn of a new year for me to enact change. fuck resolutions; i've been engaged in the business of doing change for a good few months now. my actions, attitudes, thoughts... reading, thinking, writing, conversing -- these things comprise resolve.

though that word isn't really an apt one, because it connotes a conclusion, decision, some sort of conversion or final somethingorother.

so, fuck resolutions altogether. right? we are a new creation... wait. we are ever-creating ourselves, our stories. okay with meaning (sans uppercase M), contingent meaning, localized fervor--


listening to wilco. it's funny, because they make me think of chicago. when i listen to them i feel chicago in summer. rain and sun and blogging and learning about publishing and emails home and riding the el with jill and james.

it's foggy out. maybe i'll go take a walk.
i wish that brandon was here, making layered three wisemen shots
(i saw the yaeger in the freezer as i chose a piece of ice to cool the too-hot-hot(decaf)-tea before bedtime)

happy new year all.
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